By Daniel H. King
I read recently in the newspaper about a 61 year old man fighting in the courts to keep a 1,000 pound pig in his back yard. This gentleman had bought the pig for his grandchildren when the animal was 8 weeks old and raised it on vegetables, leftovers, day-old bread and doughnuts. Undoubtedly everyone in the neighborhood thought the porker was “cute” until it grew up. Then it became such a “big pig”! The owner was recently notified that he would have to get rid of the creature, since it was a violation of the city ordinance banning livestock within the city limits. Neighbors had started to complain about the animal and this spurred the city officials to action.
When I read this little story of the “big pig,” it reminded me of the nature and character of human transgression. You see, that is exactly the way that sin is. It starts out small and innocent-looking. We think it is cute. But then it grows up. And when it does, it gets bigger than we ever thought it would! No longer is it “cute”; now it is just big and ugly and even scary to look at.
1. Sowing Wild Oats. Many young people today think there is nothing wrong with spending their youth in pursuit of sin. They think that someday they will settle down to home and family life, and when they do, all will be well. But the scars and blemishes left upon their reputation — and more important than even this-their character, will not soon go away. If they are not careful, they will someday awake to the hideousness of what they have created in their own lives. They will look in the mirror and faintly see what others have been seeing all along. And the Frankenstein-monster of their own creating will not soon go away, either. It may take many years to live down the sin of one night!
2. Habits. Everyone has habits. Some are good and some are bad. For example, it is good to habitually brush your teeth and do many other things as a matter of custom which are beneficial to physical soundness and good health. But some of us also do things which destroy either our good health or our good reputation or both. These things start out small and harmless looking, but if left unchecked they will grow into ugly habits. They can be so destructive as even to kill us. Smoking is a case in point. The smoker starts out small, with just one cigarette. Gradually he or she becomes more enslaved to the little things until they are necessary all the time. At the last the habit steals away the breath and chokes out the life. The habitual breathing in of the deadly smoke has been a form of suicide, slow but sure. It did not appear at first to be so bad, till it grew up. By then it was so big in our lives that we could not give it up. Sin enslaves like that (see Jn. 8:32-36). It gradually grows into such a monster that we can’t handle it any more like we could while it was small.
3. Apathy and Indifference. “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?” wrote the author of Hebrews (2:3). Some folks are not contemptuous of the church, or Christ, or the gospel. They do not make rabid attacks upon the Bible or insult Christianity. They wouldn’t think of it. But what they do is just as bad. They neglect them to death. They put them out of their minds and out of their lives. They don’t think about them and they don’t do anything about them. Thus, when they are approached with the gospel they find that they have become utterly insensitive to its appeal. The monster of apathy has grown to such gargantuan proportions that it has stopped their ears and closed their eyes. It has become bigger and stronger than they are. They no longer control it. It controls them.
Don’t let sin get the best of you. Root it out while it is small and manageable. Better still, don’t let it into your life in the first place!
Guardian of Truth XXIX: 13, p. 403
July 4, 1985